Saturday, August 19, 2017

Richardson's Service Station


Paul Richardson ran the Mobil Station on Main Street in Cuba City, where Munyon's is today. His lease began in January 1954.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Corsets in Cuba City




This fun advertising card from R. A. Wilson & Co., an early Cuba City business, probably dates from 1875-1900.

R. A. Wilson was a stock dealer and hotel proprietor in nearby Georgetown, but when railroad tracks were laid through Cuba City in the 1870s, Wilson opted for a business in the growing new community.

The Wilson & Co. store, a general store and market for grain and farm produce, was established in Cuba City around 1875.  R. A. Wilson was in business with two other gentlemen: Simon Harker and Cooper (first name unknown). They built the building that is now home to Antiques & Salvage on Main Street.

In the early 1890s, R. A. Wilson & Co. started the first creamery in Cuba City, which they later leased to the Elgin Creamery Co.

In 1895, J.C. Donohoo, Patrick Doyle, and Thomas Splinter bought into the business and the store would eventually become Donohoo, Splinter & Company, as it appears in the photograph below.

 
 
(Information and image taken from the Cuba City Centennial book.)

Friday, July 28, 2017

Jay Dee Stables and Stable Motel


An image from the early days of the Stable Motel in Cuba City. I'm not sure when the motel opened, but the following advertisement was found in the Dubuque Telegraph Herald on February 20, 1958:

Stop get a stall, tie up with us. Completely modern. Stable Motel, Cuba City, Wis.

John D. Tarrell owned the Stable Motel.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Roosevelt Mining Company stock certificate



This certificate was for fifty shares of stock in the Roosevelt Mining Company of Cuba City. The company operated the Roosevelt Mine, located east of Cuba City near the corner of Crabtree Road and Carr Factory Road.


The zinc mine was discovered in 1905. By 1906, the Roosevelt Mining Company had built a mill and a roaster at the site. The mine was shut down around 1907, though it briefly reopened in 1910. (Source: Allen Van Heyl's The Geology of the Upper Mississippi Valley Zinc-Lead District)

Sunday, February 26, 2017

A final shot of the Pit


Thank you to Loren Farrey for providing the following information about the white stone used on the exterior of the Pit:

"In 'downtown' Etna just east of Leadmine, there had been an old three story grist mill from which provided the stones for this gym building - they were from the quarry at Etna which provided some of the best stone for buildings in the area.

Notice the beautiful stonework on the front and the other side of this building - the same stone was used on St. Patrick's Church in Benton and on the stone store building across the street from Jim's Barber Shop in Benton - the stone maintains its color and more importantly its strength over time."

Friday, February 17, 2017

Cuba City landmark comes down

The Pit (1937-2017)







Though sports have long been popular in Cuba City, it was not until 1937, in the midst of the Great Depression, that the Cuba City School District got its own gymnasium. 

Hard times in the United States during the Depression meant new opportunities for communities like Cuba City. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was a federal relief program instituted as part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal in 1935. Its purpose was to put Americans to work on all kinds of projects, including building construction. 

One such project was the new Cuba City gymnasium, which was approved by the works progress district office in Lancaster in August 1935. The gym, or the “Pit,” as it is better known today, was built at 310 South Jackson Street. It was situated just north of the old high school, connected to the older building by a corridor. 

The gymnasium was christened during the 1936-37 high school basketball season with a game against Boscobel. Before that time, basketball teams played their games in the Auditorium, located on the second floor of the old Ford Garage building (109 North Main Street, across from City Hall). The Auditorium presented problems as a basketball court. There were three metal roof trusses above the floor—one at the center line and one above each free-throw line. These shooting obstacles were a thing of the past when the new school gym was complete.

While the newly built gymnasium saw its fair share of basketball games, it was used for more than just sporting events. Other high school activities which had been staged at the Auditorium were now held in the gymnasium. The building had a stage, dressing rooms, locker rooms and showers (one of the stage dressing rooms was used as a smoking room during basketball games when the gym first opened!). Not long after the building was completed in 1937, a home talent revue was put on by the school and townspeople. The $90 raised purchased a maroon velvet curtain for the gym’s stage.  

After the new elementary school in Cuba City was built in 1967, the old school adjoining the gymnasium was demolished. The Pit was purchased by the city of Cuba City and has since been used for all kinds of public recreation, including dances, sports practices and camps.

Sources
Cuba City Centennial : 100 Years, 1875 to 1975.
Cuba City Comprehensive Plan, adopted June 1999.
“Federal Projects in Grant County Gain Works District Aid.” Telegraph Herald, Aug. 18, 1935.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Cuba City Bakery

Did you know that the building now housing Nick's Cafe used to be a bakery? On July 8, 1930, Joseph P. Nilles of Dubuque became the owner of the Cuba City bakery. Before this, Albert and Charles Lippolt and D.A. Dixon also had bakeries at this location.

The sign behind this gentleman reads Lippolt Bros. Bakery Confectionery Ice Cream, located at 119 S. Main, where Nick's Cafe is today. The outlines of City Hall and the First National Bank dome are just visible in the distance. Circa 1922. Thank you to Linda Lambert for sharing this wonderful photo belonging to her great aunt, Rachel Idel Smith.

 This drawing comes from the 1932 fire insurance map of Cuba City. The Nilles bakery is the second building from the bottom, labeled Bake Shop. Sadly, the bakery did suffer a fire in December 1935 that destroyed the interior of the building.